Thursday, 29 April 2010

Tree Planting Date

The oak trees lining our street were in appears planted in a single day, that being 1 JUNE 1945. They were planted just a matter of days after the declaration of peace in Europe on 8 May 1945, VE Day, and before hostilities had ceased in Asia and the surrender signed in Japan on 15 August 1945, taken as 14 August in America due to time differences. This is simply amazing. The date has come from the CCC record of trees the entry for my tree reads: 1st June 1945 - Red Oak - Special Purpose. The other enteries are all similar, only the species differs.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Park Seating

I am putting together a proposal to go before the Community Board meeting of 19 May for seating in the Rose Garden area of St James Park, if anyone would like to help with this I would be delighted to hear from you. There is funding available through the Community Board for the setting up of a Residents Association for St James Avenue. This could be a wonderful opportunity for the street, something else to think on and discuss on 2 May.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Two Important Meetings in May

Margaret Rowley, Alan Taylor and I informally met Tara Smith (Consultation Leader) and Philip Crossland (Project Manager) at a hastily set up meeting on Wednesday just to get a sense of where the CCC is coming from.Tara and Philip are aware of the checkered history of this project and the mistrust that resulted. Whether Dieter (CCC arborist) and Yvonne (Councillor, Papanui Ward) are now open minded on this matter remains to be seen, but but the Council appears keen to get this project done well this time, and seem genuinely interested in the opinions of residents. I remain unsure.

Margaret has organised a meeting on Sunday 2nd May at 2pm in the Papanui RSA Upham Room to stimulate discussion of the issues prior to the CCC workshop. The main issues are:
  1. The trees (mostly scarlet oaks). Several of these are diseased and are very likely to need removal. Pruning will be required to give a 1m clearance around overhead lines (a legal requirement). Can trees simply be replaced as they die through a process of natural attrition?
  2. Drainage. Kerb and channel work may damage roots and it is not clear what effect this will have on the trees. The Council may need to perform some test holes to assess the roots where kerb and channel work is to be done. Existing seal around tree roots may be having a detrimental effect on trees currently.
  3. Parking and traffic flow. The width of the street should allow several options for parking - e.g. angle parking, grass pavers. What about judder bars here and there, a rumble strip at the corner, or a pedestrian island at Harewood Road?
  4. Underground wiring is not up for discussion -- we are a low traffic volume local road and a low CCC priority for underground wiring.

The purpose of the CCC workshop at 4-6pm on 26 May at the Methodist Church Hall, Corner of Harewood Rd and Chapel Street is to look at the options available to us, and also for us to express our opinions to the CCC, so hopefully we will have thought about these issues before the workshop. Everyone attending the workshop will get an information pack 2 weeks beforehand (which will apparently include results of a traffic survey, and an opinion from an "independent" North Island arborist). It is important that as many residents as possible get to this.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Letter from CCC re Street Renewal Project


21 April 2010


Re: St James Avenue Street Renewal Project (Harewood Road to Dalriada Street)

Dear Sir/Madam

Christchurch City Council delivers several street renewal projects each year. These projects replace the existing kerb and dish channel with new kerb and flat channel. At the same time as the kerb and dish channel is replaced, other associated street works may also be completed, such as upgrading the street lighting, improving the landscaping and bringing the street design up to current standards.

The streets that are due for renewal are prioritised based on the condition of the existing kerb and dish channel as well as the costs to maintain the streets. In the current Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP), the section of St James Avenue between Harewood Road and Dalriada Street is scheduled to be reconstructed in the 2011/12 financial year.

The process for completing a street renewal project includes gathering feedback from the local residents on what they perceive as the key issues within the street and its proposed design. This is a very important step as it allows the designers to consider the local issues and it assists the community board to make the final decision when approving the plans.

The Council originally investigated this project in 2006, but due to funding implications the project was deferred.

We are currently in the early stages of this project and we would appreciate your input. We have reviewed the comments from 2006 and completed other preliminary investigations like traffic counts, speed surveys, arborist reports, drainage assessments and parking surveys. This has allowed us to develop some draft options for discussion.

When reviewing these draft options, there are several considerations that need to be taken into account, including:
  • understanding the opportunity that we have now to complete a well considered street renewal project that the public will be happy with for the design life of the next 80 to 100 years;
  • the pros and cons of the design options available; 
  • the current traffic engineering design standards;
  • the impact on the likes of the trees, drainage and traffic speed; 
  • the financial impact; and,
  • the impact on all road users which includes vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and parking.

Several of these considerations conflict with each other and this project will work to achieve the appropriate balance between these competing demands.

We will provide background information to assist you to understand the issues and the challenges faced for any proposed designs.

You are invited to a workshop that will present the background information and discuss the draft options for this project. This workshop will be an active process and will encourage input from all attendees. The purpose of this workshop is to encourage people to express their views and listen to the ideas of others.

Following the workshop, Council staff will compile the results and draft a preferred option that will be circulated to residents and other affected parties. At this stage you will have an opportunity to express your views on the preferred option.

Workshop date:    Wednesday 26 May 2010 at 4.00 pm - 6.00 pm
Workshop venue:     Methodist Church Hall, on the corner of Parish St and Harewood Rd

Please RSVP by 17 May to Sally Holtham on 941 6530 or if you will be attending. If you would like to attend but are not available at this time, please contact me and we will make alternative arrangements to receive your input.

If you would like further information regarding this project, please contact me on 941 6510 or via email on

Yours sincerely,
Tara Smith
Consultation Leader - Greenspace